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Chemical engineers are employed in a wide variety of industries: petroleum and gas, chemicals, minerals and metals, glass and ceramics, plastics and resins, soap and detergents, cosmetics, rubber and tire, food production, fertilizer and agricultural chemicals, nuclear energy, photographic products, microchip manufacturing, missile and space, synthetic fibers and textiles, paint, paper and cellulose, pharmaceuticals, and process equipment manufacture. They are also involved in private consulting, government and higher education. In addition to the wide range of types of jobs traditionally thought of as chemical engineering, chemical engineers work in such diverse areas as applied physics, applied mathematics, biochemistry, medicine, patent law, pollution monitoring and prediction, sales, and industrial management. According to a recent workforce commission, the starting salaries for chemical engineers are among the highest in any engineering field. Currently, the average starting salary for B.S. graduates exceeds $50,000 per year. Also see the American Institute of Chemical Engineer's Web address for career information http://www.aiche.org.
CH E M IC A L EN G INE E R ING C AR E E R O V ER V IEW
Chemical engineers apply both, the knowledge of chemistry and, the principles of engineering to the chemical industry and thus form the bridge or the link between science and manufacturing. They are involved in a wide variety of activities like equipment design, process developing for chemical manufacture on a large scale, planning and testing ways of producing and the treatment of byproducts as well as supervision of manufacturing activities. They are employed in not only chemical but also other manufacturing concerns like in the field of electronics, photography, clothing and pulp & paper products. Medicine & healthcare, biotechnology as well as the business industry also holds employment opportunities for chemical engineers. Chemical engineers use the knowledge of chemistry, physics mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering and as such their activities and duties overlap other fields. Chemical engineers can usually specialize in one process like oxidation or polymerization or in a field like material science. They can even learn to develop specific products like pesticides and fertilizers, automotive plastics, chlorine bleaches etc. Chemical engineers need to know about the full scope of manufacturing chemicals and their effect on our environment, as well as the safety of workers and buyers. Due to the advent of information technology and its use in efficient research and production activities, chemical engineers are required to understand and apply computer knowledge to analyze chemical processes, to automate control systems and to provide statistical control of quality. In 2002, Chemical engineers were employed in 33,000 different jobs in various industries. Around 55 percent of all chemical engineering professionals were employed by the manufacturing industry, chiefly in the chemical, petroleum refining, paper and other industries. The rest worked in R&D and other fields for professional (scientific or technical ) services who were involved indirectly with chemical companies.
..450.490.520 and above. Chemical Engineers are in demand all over the world. a chemical engineer with a bachelor¶s degree got salaries worth $52. To discover more click on the links. They are employed across a huge variety of sectors including: y y Chemical and allied products Pharmaceuticals . In a 2003 salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Most of the chemical engineers. The Ph.J OB A ND E MP L O YM E NT O P PO R TU N IT IES F OR C HE M IC A L EN G INE E R S It is projected that the period through 2012 will be a slow moving time for chemical engineers. working on projects as diverse as providing water for third world communities. the research and testing services industry. H IS T O RIC A L E A R N IN G S IN F OR M A TIO N In 2002. Chemical Engineers are involved in the design. shaping the hydrogen economy. It's your world.384 on an average in a year.. candidates made up to $70. Seasoned engineers may earn even more. It's your world. pharmaceuticals are likely to have the best growth opportunities for employees. while those with a master¶s degree received salaries worth $57.830 a year while the lowest 10 percent received salaries less than $48.729 on an average. To find out more about the real life chemical engineers working in today's industries. please click here. Though no new job opportunities are expected to grow out of these sectors.D. In the manufacturing sector. R&D activities as well as developing more efficient output from existing chemical processes are expected to be carried on by chemical companies. annually. leading edge tissue engineering research.320 and $88. modification and operation of processes to produce desirable products. will be employed in the nonmanufacturing industry. The highest 10 percent received salaries of $107. develop clean energy solutions and end the suffering of the millions affected by incurable diseases. the median earnings of a chemical engineers was $72. and creating pollution free iron production. primarily. The challenge for Chemical Engineers in the 21st century is to protect water supplies and the environment. What do Chemical Engineers do? Chemical Engineers play a crucial role in everyday life.857 a year. openings will be available due to retirements and transfers of current employees. To make our Future Life a better life. Click here to view The Independent's article 'how chemical engineers are solving the planet's problems'. But although the total employment in chemical manufacturing concerns is likely to decrease. The middle 50 percent received salaries between $58. however.
this can be anything from managing a small modification to an existing pharmaceutical facility to building a multibillion dollar petrochemicals complex.Project engineers organise and run projects for engineering companies.The design engineer is responsible for determining how the process is to work. Design Engineer.y y y y y y y y y Energy Water Food & Drink Materials Oil & Gas Process Plants & Equipment Biotechnology Business and Management Consultancy Chemical Engineers must make decisions concerning: y y y y y y y y Which reaction pathway should be used to make the product? How to purify the desired product? How to control the process and ensure it is safe? How to make the process cost effective? What should be done with any by-products formed? How to reduce the amounts of unwanted by-products formed? What to do with unreacted raw materials? How to recycle energy within the process? Here are some examples of job roles for Chemical Engineers: Projects Engineer . For example which pieces of equipment will be needed and how big they will be. .
thermal.Operations Engineer . Research and Development Engineer (R&D) . I use simulation tools to aid design and process optimisation. For more in-depth examples of the careers that Chemical Engineering can lead to please click here Thumbnail sketches of the modern Chemical Engineer Food processing engineer My key skill is understanding the application of heat transfer and fluid flow (single and multiphase) principles to the manufacture of foods. Senior Consultant in the pharmaceutical industry I need to understand the primary technologies behind biochemical engineering to provide the services our biopharmaceutical clients expect. environmental performance and even developing new products. They develop the ideas for future plants. I often work in multidisciplinary teams. I often work on pharmaceutical projects based on other technologies. This means that they spend their time ensuring that the plant is producing the right amount of product to the correct specification. manufacture and distribution of food products to meet consumer expectations. Processes generally require innovative measurement and analysis at the design or troubleshooting stage. My projects range from small consultancy questions to the design. Chemical Engineer in the water industry My functions include the design and development of the wide range of physical.The R&D engineer is innovative and creative. improving efficiency.Operations engineers work "on site". I have to understand production and regulatory issues together with the commercial constraints on products. building. chemical and biological unit operations needed to remove contaminants economically from water and . I work with our clients. size distribution) and their variability are complex. and together with the multidisciplinary teams needed to complete the large projects. commissioning and validation of large pharmaceutical production facilities. Material properties ± (rheology. I need to understand the role that food science and microbiology play in design.
Mistakes can have serious financial and reputation effects on my company. the project management of new works construction. with more than $5m products passing through the supply chain. laboratory-based bioscientists and manufacturing specialists. My responsibility is large. I may therefore work in diverse environments including academic. A bioproduct engineer Working in a multidisciplinary area of life-science innovation. manufacturers and customers to manage an effective logistics operation that delivers benefits to my employer¶s bottom line. . Supply chain manager in the process industries I need to understand the primary manufacturing units and processes and their efficiencies. I need to work with our suppliers. and the management of operation of treatment plant and distribution networks. I am required to understand and keep up-to-date with contemporary developments in diverse areas of technology such as tissue culture. I am required to translate very specific scientific concepts into practical bioproduct specifications that can be produced as a functional and effective product. genetics and biochemistry as well as fundamental biochemical engineering. small technologybased enterprises or large research-led companies.wastewater. A particular feature is an understanding of the IT systems that manage the supply chain such as SAP. Manugistics I2 and the interaction and impact of these systems on all aspects of the supply chain including manufacturing. and the basic principles of supply chain management from the supplier¶s supplier to the customer¶s customer. I must appreciate the regulatory issues. and to minimise waste streams from treatment processes. My projects range from fundamental blue-sky research through product development to highly targeted technical sales activities. I need to understand the new technologies which will enable us to meet new legislative quality standards for water supply and wastewater discharge. Interfacing with medical specialists. together with the commercial constrains.
Although overall employment in the chemical manufacturing industry is expected to decline. electronics. the safety of workers. Many of the jobs for chemical engineers. they need to understand how to apply computer skills to chemical process analysis. automated control systems.320 and $88. Earnings [About this section][More salary/earnings info][To Top] Median annual earnings of chemical engineers were $72. many openings will result from the need to replace chemical engineers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Even though no new jobs due to growth are expected to be created. and related industries. paper. or technical services firms that design chemical plants or perform research and development or other services. and pulp and paper. mainly for chemical companies. They frequently specialize in a particular chemical process such as oxidation or polymerization. Employment [About this section][To Top] Chemical engineers held about 33. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48.520. chemical companies will continue to research and develop new chemicals and more efficient processes to increase output of existing chemicals.490 in 2002. scientific. pharmaceuticals may provide the best opportunities for jobseekers. The middle 50 percent earned between $58. Job Outlook [About this section][To Top] Little or no growth in employment of chemical engineers is expected though 2012. mathematics. primarily in the chemicals. Most others worked for professional. such as materials science. Chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing. such as those producing electronics. Among manufacturing industries.830. They design equipment and develop processes for large-scale chemical manufacturing. will be in nonmanufacturing industries. clothing. They must be aware of all aspects of chemicals manufacturing and how it affects the environment. The knowledge and duties of chemical engineers overlap many fields. physics.Chemical Engineers Nature of the Work [About this section] [To Top] Chemical engineers build a bridge between science and manufacturing. and customers. plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts. and statistical quality control. or chlorine bleach. petroleum refining.450. . and business services industries. biotechnology.000 jobs in 2002. automotive plastics. applying the principles of chemistry and engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals. Because chemical engineers use computer technology to optimize all phases of research and production. photographic equipment. and mechanical and electrical engineering. Manufacturing industries employed 55 percent of all chemical engineers. Others specialize in a particular field. and supervise production. They also work in the healthcare. however. or the development of specific products such as fertilizers and pesticides. and the highest 10 percent earned more than $107. Chemical engineers apply principles of chemistry. especially services industries such as research and testing services.
the one that heralds new discoveries.857. [Please note that the earnings and salary data listed here is usually from government sources and may be dated. Chemical Engineering Takes Chemistry Out Of the Lab and Into the World . candidates averaged $70.729. masterï¿½s degree candidates averaged $57. bachelorï¿½s degree candidates in chemical engineering received starting offers averaging $52..384 a year.] Are you interested in what types of jobs you could get with a degree in chemical engineering? Here are some employment options you could get with a bachelors or masters college degree in chemical engineering. so please make adjustments accordingly. If you would like to access current salary data for literally thousands of occupations. Aerospace Engineer Biotechnology Chemical Plant Civil Engineer Computer Systems Electrical Engineering Environmental Engineer Food Industries Mechanical Engineer Mining Engineer Nuclear Engineer Oil and Natural Gas Industry Paper Manufacture Petrochemical Engineer Pharmaceuticals Plant Design Plastic and Polymer Manufacture Technical Sales Waste Treatment The most exciting phrase to hear in science. chemical engineers create innovations that impact our lives in surprising ways.D. By solving technological problems. access our Salary Wizard.According to a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. and Ph.' --Isaac Asimov What Is Chemical Engineering? Chemical engineering majors learn to change raw materials into economically viable products. is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny ..
health. the development of new sources of energy. detergents." Dickerson continues. and evaluate plant operations for performance and product quality. I . works in an area that produces hexamethylene diamine-a molecule used in the production of nylon. fluid dynamics. and chemistry-whereas the other branches are based on only the first two. In addition to process and product development and design. data processing. "We focus on kinetics more. Dickerson explains that his work involves applying chemists findings to large-scale production. food production. pressures. environmental studies. "At work. and improving existing equipment and processes. a chemical engineer at Solutia. and management. They translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the production of products such as plastics. market analysis. design plants to maximize productivity and minimize costs. Their work also extends to processes in nuclear energy. Meeting safety. and we're concerned with things such as fluid flow and heat transfer on a large scalethings that you don t necessarily have to worry about with smaller reactions in beakers. They also work on expanding projects. and physics to the design and operation of large-scale chemical manufacturing processes. you learn real-world applications. the real nuts and bolts of engineering. Patrick Dickerson. and fuels. A specific interest in chemistry combined an aptitude for math and science attracts individuals to the profession.. sales. and flow rates to determine where the problem exists. chemical engineers remain on hand at a production facility to solve problems that occur as the processes continue. materials science. research. medicines. looking at parameters such as temperatures. Is the Broadest Branch of Engineering Chemical engineering is broader in scope than the other branches of engineering because it draws on the three main engineering foundations: math. process design. I focus on manufacturing and the problems that arise. On the job. chemical engineers analyze samples from the system. This process includes determining how to separate the desired product from its impurities. "In school. Chemical engineers are employed by almost all companies in the chemical process industry. Provides Education on the Job Chemical engineers say that work experience is an extension of their education in the field. and environmental regulations is also a large part of a chemical engineer's work life. evaluating new equipment. math. The curriculum of study for chemical engineering is similar to that for chemistry but includes course work in engineering-related areas such as thermodynamics. you learn about the theory." Once processes and equipment are designed." He adds. physics. and control and electronics.Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry. Dickerson explains. When changes occur that upset a running system. Inc. They affect or control at some stage the materials or production of almost every article manufactured on an industrial scale. "We take what a chemist does-they synthesize a small amount of a material-and we scale it up to making several hundred tons per day. chemical engineers work in areas such as production. We design equipment that will accommodate these concerns. and even medicine.
research laboratories. her co-op work experience with the company gave her the edge and background needed to move into this position relatively quickly. report writing. Is a Satisfying Career Chemical engineers enjoy considerable variety in their work. "Your degree is the key to starting your career. Inc. I really enjoy the variety of the job.. Interaction with other people who are part of a team is critical to the success of projects. You work on improving a process and then you see those improvements in the end in the final product. goggles. says Harvey. I don t believe there's a typical project." Scott Harvey. or pilot plant facilities. Workdays may involve of moving from place to place within a facility. physics." Gaining experience while still in school helps many individuals decide on their career paths. Working Conditions Chemical engineers typically work in manufacturing plants. these positions. The work can vary greatly depending on the type of project and its stage of development-for example. however. and steel-toe shoes. says. Often they are required to wear safety protective equipment. such as hard hats. "In my work. Both Dickerson and Harvey say that internships with their present employer led them to a career in their respective areas. That's a very satisfying feeling. chemical engineering consultant for DuPont businesses. is seeing an idea through from the lab to the commercial plant. Another satisfying part of his job." Harvey focuses on reaction engineering and describes his work as process or technology transfer-the transfer of new or improved chemical processes from the bench scale to commercial-scale equipment. Van Krieken says her position has traditionally been filled by experienced chemical engineers. Dickerson agrees that chemical engineering is a satisfying career. Michele van Krieken. They work around large-scale production equipment that is housed both indoors and outdoors. often require visiting research and production facilities. or production-scale trial batches. She performs economic analyses and recommends whether researchers should pursue development of the new process. and it's better than what you started with. However. bench-top experimental work. They use chemistry. a chemical engineer for Lonza. technical presentations. but on-the-job training is what make you good at the job.have to find out how to make a process work. is responsible for making suggestions about new process ideas developed by DuPont's research departments. a specialty chemical producer. "It's always nice to see that a process you worked on works. . and mathematical equations to solve real problems and design ways to produce products safely and economically." Work Description Chemical engineers design and operate plants and processes for large-scale production of chemical products. Chemical engineers also work in business and management offices. "I work in the R&D labs". Undergraduate work experience helped them decide what areas they were most interested in.
Education and Training To enter the field. Chemical engineers say that although they learn a lot of theory in the classroom. biotechnology.Places of Employment Chemical engineers are employed by almost every type of company in the chemical process industry. thinking analytically. Personal Characteristics A strong interest in chemistry. psychology. A chemical engineer s curriculum is similar to that of a chemist. math (through differential equations). Salary Information To find out what a person in this type of position earns in your area of the country. Use of the ACS Salary Comparator is a member-only benefit. Approximately three-quarters of all chemical engineers are working in manufacturing industries. such as research. and electronics. the balance are employed by government or academia or are self-employed. and service industries also employ them. General information about salaries in chemical professions can be obtained through published survey results. and written communication skills are highly desirable. economic analysis. Chemical engineers are trained to apply lab processes to large-scale production. solving problems. sales. opportunities for chemical engineers will expand. and physics is vital to success in this field because chemical engineering draws on all three disciplines. As the biotechnology industry continues to grow. monitor processes. and being creative are essential. fluid dynamics. oral. math. professionals must have at least a four-year bachelor s degree in chemical engineering that includes course work in physics. Petroleum refineries and the pharmaceutical. As a result. and management. thermodynamics. but also includes course work in engineering-related areas such as heat and mass transfer. Job Outlook The demand in the past few years for chemical engineers at major chemical and pharmaceutical companies is expected to continue. process design and control. design. Economics. process control. good interpersonal. For More Information . and understand highly technical material. please refer to the ACS Salary Comparator. Because projects often involve complex processes and problems that require teamwork and the preparation of reports. most of their knowledge of real-world applications is derived from on-the-job training. and computers. and political science help chemical engineers to understand the impact of technology on society. they work in a variety of settings. Chemical engineering research jobs are increasing in importance with the development and large-scale implementation of new energy sources designed as substitutes for the world s diminishing supplies of petroleum and natural gas.
Participate in activities that call for teamwork. and the government-not only chemical companies. . What You Can Do Now Find a mentor and/or summer work experience in the process industry. Develop written and oral communication skills. This helps you determine your areas of interest. and offer opportunities to interact with others.American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 345 East 47th Street New York. require analytical skills. oil companies. Consider a variety of industries when planning for a career in the field-pharmaceutical companies. NY 10017 AIChE has also produced career material as part of the Sloan Career Cornerstone Series.
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